Generation of change values freedom of speech

Due to social media, activism and awareness about social issues diffuse quickly throughout the world, sparking interest in younger voices. Seeking change, teens express their views.

Using their right to free speech and petition students advocate for change–starting in the community and extending to the world. By using symbolism, petitions and educating peers, activists shed light on various issues.
According to senior Sophie Kratz, the ongoing conflict in Iran got them involved in activism.
“I wanted to raise awareness for the humanitarian crisis happening in Iran. So I sat up on a table and I chopped off my hair. It’s a very big [form of] symbolism for all of the protests happening around the world,” Kratz said.
Kratz believes students can make a change by signing petitions and messaging the Senate and their state’s governor.
“The importance [of activism] is definitely just to spread awareness and to inform. There’s a lot of people that aren’t aware of different situations going on,” Kratz said.
Aside from spreading awareness, activism is seeing change that people can make in the world.
“These issues are not going to go away. So it’s very important to me, I don’t see myself suddenly not wanting to pursue it because it’s something that I think has to continue,” Kratz said.
Senior Joey Beck believes that it is important to stand up for what you believe in to get rid of the hate that divides society.
“The modern world is filled with criticism and hate being spread around to certain groups of people, mostly minorities,” Beck said. “By showing my support of these groups, I can attempt to change people’s minds and create a much more welcome and loving community.
Beck believes the younger generation can be influential and plans to continue being an activist in college by joining activism groups and continuing to advocate for groups receiving constant hate.
“Young voices are the most powerful because they advocate for change and they always strive to fix the problems. As students, we have the power to change the world,” Beck said.
Beck encourages students to stand up for their beliefs and to let their voices be heard.
“So many people complain about the state of the country and the discrimination seen everyday, but they don’t say anything about it,” Beck said. “Use your voice to make a change.”
Senior Sierra Miller has meaningful conversations at Cultural Awareness Alliance club (CAA) to inform others about ongoing issues.
“[CAA] definitely connects you with more people, gets you more educated on different topics. It lets you learn about other people and other problems that they’re going through,” Miller said. “With being part of CAA, it definitely branches out my connections.”
Miller believes the issue to be that students are not aware of what is going on. When given the opportunity, she keeps her peers informed.
“Here, at Souderton, a lot of people are unaware of different situations going on and definitely have different opinions on different situations. So I think that if more people were more aware that we could definitely have a big change in direction,” Miller said.
Sophomore Rachel McLaughlin believes being active in school can build confidence.
“Being open about your beliefs and being comfortable and sharing them with people and getting them like getting your ideas out into the school and the community is a good place to start,” McLaughlin said.
According to senior Ava Saydam, being a women led her to activism.
“I like to educate my peers on activism issues that I am passionate about. I also attend rallies if I can, and don’t hesitate to call out others who have said or done something that is not acceptable,” Saydam said
Saydam believes everyone should get involved.
“It’s important that people of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds support a cause in order to produce a change. As young people, we also have a lot more power than most people think,” Saydam said.